Turn on a Dime

I’m just curious… How many of you bloggers have had your readers suddenly turn vicious on you? I’ve been lucky – it hasn’t happened to me (yet) but I’m not naive enough to think it can’t happen.

Recently, a blog friend of mine, Livey, got hit. Hard. I know of one other, Amy, who has gotten it too – for no clear reason that I can see. These women (in my opinion) are both sweet, loving, kind and generous and should in no way be getting this kind of response to their blogs.

I’m not sure why this disturbs me so much except that in my understanding we all make it clear these are our words, our thoughts and our feelings and we retain the right to free speech to say whatever, whenever, and however we wish. We might be joking or serious. We may rant and rave or brag and coo. Whatever we do it’s ours. If someone doesn’t agree or like what we have to say, why do they have to be so bitter and wicked? There is such a thing as constructive criticism… or, better yet, just leave! Are they trying to start a fight? Hurt feelings? I’d really like to know what is going through their minds.

The other thing that gets me with these kinds of responses is they are almost to a one, anonymous…. or, if they choose to leave a name, there is no link whatsoever back to them. They can dish it out but can’t take it?

I know I’m probably too trusting. I’ve found some people out there in blogland that I’ve never met in person. I take their words pretty much at face value and fill in the blanks to match the picture I’ve made of them in my head. I feel a connection. I feel a friendship. I feel a need to care what happens to these people and what is going on in their lives is important to me. Are they blowing smoke up my ass? It’s possible. Do I believe that? No. Naive? Probably.

Will this naive attitude cost me hurt feelings some day? Maybe. But for now I’ll take that chance. At this point I can’t see any of my regular readers turning on me in a fit of spite or rage one day, but I fear it’s been done. Has it happened to you? I’m just curious…